Stuart Lindsay, Pathology: San Francisco

Professor Emeritus

Born February 28, 1912 in Sacramento, Stuart Lindsay was destined to be a distinguished contributor to medical education, research and public service. Austerity in his early postdoctoral life sharpened a life-long zeal for accomplishment and perfection. His accomplishments in the study of the thyroid gland, arteriosclerosis, and the effects of radiation have contributed significantly to our basic knowledge of these entities. Nationally and internationally they continue to be points of reference.

Experiences in his residency training and early academic life as an instructor kept aflame a compulsion to widen his boundaries of knowledge and to complete any task undertaken. Ironically, his life was sadly terminated December 19, 1985 by neoplastic diseases which were at stages beyond cure. Fourteen years previously in 1971, Dr. Lindsay chose retirement from active academic life and became an emeritus professor with a bibliography of 183 entries including book reviews, abstracts, and completed journal articles or book chapters.

Upon graduation from Sacramento High School in 1930 he attended Sacramento Junior College until 1932 when he transferred to the University of California, Berkeley, where he received his B.A. degree cum laude in 1934. Four years later in 1938 he was graduated from the University of California School of Medicine and was elected to membership in the honorary medical society, Alpha Omega Alpha.

After two years training in surgery (internship and assistant residency), he undertook special training in pathology beginning in 1940. He completed his residency training in pathology in 1942 and became a faculty member as an instructor. At that time, there being essentially no provision for adequate supplementation of University salary by practice or consultation at the University Hospital comparable to that of full-time clinical colleagues, he accepted the privilege of extramural part-time appointments. This began with those at the Community Hospital, 1942-53, and at Mills Memorial Hospital, 1944-50 (both in San Mateo). At Mills Hospital he was a co-appointee

as visiting pathologist with James F. Rinehart, who was chairman of the Department of Pathology at the University. Other part-time appointments included those at the Community Hospital, San Mateo, 1942-53; the San Mateo County Public Health Laboratory, 1946-49; the South San Francisco Hospital, 1948; and the Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, 1950-71. Of these various activities the principal one was that of pathologist at Sequoia Hospital. With these activities Lindsay recruited associates to maximize quality service rendered and to minimize drainage of time and energy away from his basic University appointment. Beginning in 1945, at the time of his promotion to assistant professor, his salary was adjusted to a part-time basis which varied between 50% to 80% time throughout the remainder of his University career. Throughout the years Lindsay not only made a major professional contribution to the quality of medical care “down the peninsula” but fulfilled with distinction his University obligations by excellent performance in teaching, research, and service.

A liaison of 25 years with I. L. Chaikoff of the Department of Physiology in Berkeley began with the publication in 1946 and 1948 of research on the experimental production of arteriosclerosis in birds by the administration of diethylstilbesterol. Developing interest in cardiovascular matters was manifested by his 1950 publication in the British Heart Journal of an article entitled “The Cardiovascular System in Gargoylism” . This followed joint publication of two earlier studies of a series of cases seen clinically at the hospital. Gargoylism, a rare type of atypical chondrodystrophy of possible genetic origin, had formerly been associated with disturbance of lipid metabolism. Lindsay, however, arrived at the conclusion that the essential disturbance was one of carbohydrate metabolism, completely confirmed two years later by studies at Harvard.

Lindsay's collaborative research on arteriosclerosis (natural and induced) with Chaikoff covered such a wide range of non-human primates, fowl, rodents, and mammals that students and younger staff members began to refer to him as a “comparative pathologist.” In the list are not only rats, cats, dogs, monkeys, lemurs, baboons, and an elephant, but chickens, birds, ostriches and emu. Although continuing until 1968, most of these studies were in the period between 1950 and 1960. This was in contrast to his studies on the thyroid and ionizing radiation which became more numerous later and which experimentally were confined almost entirely to the rat.

Other fields of research included not only the study of endocrine induced changes in the blood but also thyroid diseases and the effects of ionizing irradiation, principally those induced in the thyroid by radioactive iodine. In 1948 he had received a grant for the “Study of thyroid pathology with special reference to the processes in nodular goiters and thryoiditis,” and by 1950 his interest in the thyroid gland was fully developed. A succession

of several publications followed, viz., the clinical significance of a solitary nodule in the thyroid gland, the pathology of nodular goiter, carcinoma of the thyroid gland, the pathology of nodular goiter, carcinoma of the thyroid gland, and thyroid neoplasms in youth. As early as 1948 he presented a paper on the natural history of thyroid cancer at the Fourth International Cancer Congress in St. Louis. One must look upon this early involvement in thyroid pathology as the extension of the earlier UCSF history of faculty involvement in thyroid diseases. W. I. Terry, H. Searles, L. Goldman, M. Soley and others had made UCSF a referral center for northern California for patients with thyroid disease.

By the 1950s Lindsay had established a growing recognition nationally and internationally. In addition to meetings of the American Goiter Association in Chicago, St. Louis, Boston, and San Francisco, he became a notable participant at scientific meetings, workshops, seminars, and conferences abroad. These included the Fifth International Thyroid Conference in Rome (1965) and thyroid cancer symposiums in Marseilles (1964), London (1967), and Lausanne (1968). An international conference on arteriosclerosis was attended in Paris (1967). He was a participant in the second, third, and fourth world congresses on fertility and sterility, held consecutively in Naples (1956), Amsterdam (1959), and Rio de Janeiro (1962).

Prominent among publications was his careful and historic review in 1961 of 293 cases of carcinoma of the thyroid which had been seen between 1920 and 1954 at the University Hospital. This set forth his criteria for the classification of thyroid cancer, particularly of the papillary type, one concerning which there had been much confusion. Lindsay's valuable 1968 contributions on “Papillary Thryoid Carcinoma Revisited” and on “Ionizing Radiation and Experimental Thyroid Neoplasms: A Review” are published in volume twelve of the Monograph Series of the International Union Against Cancer (Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg and New York, 1969). Also notable in his publications is his chapter on “Arteriosclerotic Lesions in Animals other than Man” , published in Heart and Circulation, Volume 1, 1966. Two months of his sabbatical in 1958 were spent consecutively at the Postgraduate Medical School in London with S.G. Everson Pearse and at the University of Zurich with Christoph Hedinger.

Dr. Lindsay will long be remembered not only for his enrichment of knowledge in the biological sciences resultant from research in the various fields of his endeavor but also for his indefatigable drive.

Stuart is survived by his wife, Sue Jane; sons, William Stuart and John W., and daughter, Jane Dreeszen.

D.A. Wood L.H. Friedlander R.S. Hoyt W. Rosenau T.E. Toreson W.L. Bostick